The Wednesday Words link-up, hosted by Emma at Crazy With Twins, is, in general, an open forum. You can post – within reason – anything you like, whether a quotation (with credit to the author) or your own work, to inspire your readership at around the middle of the week. And this is great. But, right now, a particular topic has been brought to my notice.
First, let me make an observation: Every day, we read, or hear, statistics, in some form or other. But being part of, and interacting with, the blogging community has taught me an important lesson, namely, that behind statistics lie real issues to do with real events, affecting the lives of real people.
One such issue is the strange – and unwelcome – phenomenon known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, something which is still unexplained. And today, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) an organisation given over to study and practical advice on all aspects of this subject, is re-launching as The Lullaby Trust.
Now, just a few weeks ago, on the 2nd of February 2013, the blogging community in the UK was rocked by the death of a baby girl aged nine months: Matilda Mae, the daughter of Jenny, who blogs at Edspire, and her husband David. Many of us wanted to show Jenny and David – and each other – how we felt about their loss. This led to a collection of prose and poetry which linked the hearts of so many people, of which many – including myself – had not until then known Matilda Mae or her family.
So today, to mark this re-launch, I am re-publishing the poem I wrote then. Although it is hardly a lullaby for children, I hope it can be one for parents everywhere who have been directly affected by such an awful trauma.
The metre of the verses was inspired by the tune sung to the Welsh song ‘Myfanwy’ composed by Joseph Parry (1841 – 1903) of which I am very fond. You can listen to it here.
We who, till now had never known you,
Are taking each the other’s hand;
Desiring to extend compassion
Yet struggling here to understand:
Of each who took to heart the story
Of how you left us on that day
The heart and mind, with ties that bind
You’ve drawn so close, Matilda Mae!
We who would never wish such sadness
Should fall on any family,
But rather, seek to share the gladness
A growing, happy child to see –
A rainbow through our hearts is streaming
Sorrow, for those who feel such pain –
And yet, for you, the sky is blue!
In this, we take our strength again.
Your absence in the body deeply moving
So sharp for one your mother and your nurse!
Yet now the power of love we’re proving
Strongest in all the universe!
The joy of Paradise receiving
Is yours, surpassing brightest day –
Yet now, as torn, for those who mourn
You’ve joined our hearts, Matilda Mae!
* * *
And so now – what about lullabies for small children? I would say, sing to them gently, anything that truly comes from your heart. The sense of love will come through. And if you sometimes get hoarse, or need a little inspiration, listen to this – written by one of the greatest writers of truly timelessly popular hit tunes ever: John Sebastian Bach!
I trust my readers will join in my continued thoughts for Jenny and David, and for every family affected as theirs has been. Thank you.